If you’re a professional person planning on giving gifts to office co-workers this February 14th Valentines’ Day, then you’re already operating outside the boundaries of what’s considered normal workplace behaviour. This is dangerous territory. Because of the strong romantic context of this particular holiday its reasonable to expect that your gifts and intentions will be misunderstood. People will think you’re a Casanova, unless your little surprises are brilliant, and served up en mass.
And then the question becomes why do it? What is the upside? Valentines’ Day is for lovers and love is forbidden in the office, so why give gifts on this day at all?
The answer could be that you hope to seize any occasion to build office moral, or strengthen bonds with junior staff members, or motivate your fellow human beings on an emotional level, or combat wage inequality by using the day as an excuse to show generosity. With all that in mind, here’s a list of ideas that accomplish the task in style and offer a relatively low chance of being misconstrued in any way.
1. Gourmet Chocolate Bars from Q’licious
You really can’t go wrong buying ‘office chocolate’ for any holiday because your coworkers are wired to find this substance delicious and pretty much equal to sex in terms of stimulating the pleasure center of their brains. Securing and distributing hard to find gourmet chocolate is extra cool, and the Q’licious gourmet chocolate bars in small cardboard boxes of twelve are only available at select stores (like Marcheleo’s and McEwans gourmet marketplaces). There are four ‘flavours’, or what are really more like taste ensembles that can include bananas, cinnamon and more than one bar has ‘a touch of sea salt’. You can get a box containing a dozen 100g bars for about $65, or a little over $5 ea. They come wrapped in a cute little burlap bar which is memorably odd, and surprisingly handy. This is something most of your coworkers would probably keep in the desks afterwards. I use one as a change purse for transit tokens in my winter coat.
2. Set Tongues Aflame with Cherries Jubilee
Cherries jubilee is a dessert dish made with cherries and liqueur, which is flambéed, and commonly served as a sauce over vanilla ice cream. The concoction is slightly alcoholic and has an amazing aroma and can be made without heating anything on a stove. The secret to success is the use good quality cocktail cherries (not maraschino or black cherries) and microwave them for a minute in their own juice. Then add to a pan, add the cherry brandy or cherry whisky, or whatever you’re using, and set the hot fruit ablaze. The cherries look their best when they are set alight and paraded around the office while everyone is scrambled to get their vanilla scoops ready in their bowls. The office will never forget the next twenty minutes; a temporal parade of shareable moments will ensue. If you’re looking for glory THIS IS IT, and the taste and smell of this heavenly desert is equally unforgettable.
3. Matcha Zen Tea
Consider hosting a matcha tea party in your office on Valentines Day. Brimming with antioxidants and important amino acids Matcha Zen Green Tea is gaining popularity in North America and is especially revered by natural health practitioners and yogis of all descriptions. The Zen brand premium ceremonial-grade matcha is shade-grown, hand-picked, steamed, stemmed, dried, and stone-ground into a bright emerald powder. Buy online at $28 an ounce, matcha green tea is whisked into hot water to make a delicious drink that promotes calm concentration and relaxation. Good for your mind, body, soul.
4. Heart Shaped Stress Toys
The heart shaped stress toy is the quintessential politically correct Valentines day gift. It references the heart symbol and the holiday and communicates a quirky compassion. And worker can share the toy – you only need to buy one per cubicle. Order online and get it customized with the name of the department or even the desk you hope it decorates for a day or two.
5. Blue Q – Pee-Pee Poo-Poo – Hand Sanitizer
Pee-Pee-Poo-Poo hand sanitizer is a brilliant Valentines Day gift for so many great reason. Firstly, it is well known that very few things succeed as well in the office as toilet humour. And that’s because its tolerant of both sexes, all ages and body shapes. This is a good safe fun Valentines Day gift that also kills germs. By reducing the spread of harmful bacteria in the office workplace this tiny inexpensive gift may result in one less person being away sick this year.
6. Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals
Books make good Valentine’s Day gifts because you can read them first before you give them away. This book is blissful reading for executives that aspire to communicate better and use more polished diction in the workplace.
Are you the point person for critical day-to-day business transmissions in your office? Do people look to you to get it right with HR mistakes and other critical activities. Effective communication with your co workers and internal and external stakeholders is key to the success of your office and entire organization.
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals has hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for any situation you’re likely to face. From defining your role in the office to promoting interdepartmental communication to getting the credit you deserve, this handy, quick-reference guide provides the most effective language possible and its so logical that it just ‘rolls off the tongue’.
7. Faux Flowers bring Vanity to Valentine’s Day
If you work with colourful men why not offer them a day’s worth of fantastic floral decorations for their clothing. Red Rose Boutonnieres are a great way to build camaraderie in any dept and can be made from just about anything. I don’t recommend using real flowers because they’re expensive and this isnt a wedding day ceremony but rather a fun team building exercise. The red rose variety seen here is silk, but there are also paper and even wooden flowers available. Wooden lapel flowers made from up-cycled furniture and flooring are available online.
8. Blue Lodge Masonic Quality Heavy Weight Ballpoint Pen Gift Set
These Blue Lodge pens look and feel like they could be worth a couple hundred bucks each, but they’re about $17 bucks each + shipping. They have the Masonic lodge and logo crest on them, and if you gave these to your junior coworkers without any explanation they might come to believe that you’re uniquely connected …
The high quality blue ballpoint pen features the Masonic Seal on the outside of the box, and also features the Masonic Seal in the middle of the pen, and the Masonic Square and Compasses Symbol with the G at the top of the knife (honoring the Great Architect). This pen is heavy in the hand and when presented as a gift it has a real gravity.
9. Chia Pet Zombie
Valentines Day is the perfect day to give everyone in the office their own Chia Pet Zombie to love. This is fantastic living thing which they can water and nurture in the window sill for months to come!
There are four different Zombies so coworkers can collect and compare them all.
Each box contains the zombie shaped handmade pottery planter and Chia seed packets for 3 plantings. Chia Zombie
10. Wellness Honey Scrub by DermVisage
Soften up female executives with Wellness Honey Scrub by DermVisage. Priced at $39.00 for 60ml (2 fl oz) this gift is about the same price as a dinner in a restaurant and much more beneficial. A serious skin exfoliator, Wellness Honey Scrub polishes away dead skin cells to produce a more radiant complexion. Wellness Honey Scrub is formulated with a natural plant exfoliator used to encourage cell renewal. Essentially you’re giving the gift of lasting beauty and helping these people age more gracefully. Such a gift would be especially welcome in high stress environments or dry office towers that bake workers with electric heat during the winter.
So if you’re an intermediate or senior executive looking to buy some Valentine’s Day gifts for the junior coworkers, and make a big splash in the office on February 14th you have some lovely romance-free choices above.